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Blogathon for Tricia, Hour Thirteen: Zombie Spam Lovers

January 9th, 2010 (05:03 pm)

Lately I've been getting the best spam messages ever.

No, no, guys, look! I know where you're going with this, and you're wrong. It's not that I've been getting amusingly misspelled encouragements to increase the size of a penis that I don't have. It's not that I've been getting messages from Tallulah L. Pocketprotractor or Humphrey Q. Snotbasket. It's not the deposed king of Nigeria wanting to make me a millionaire. It's not even Ben Stein telling me George Carlin jokes about Obama's childhood in a Nazi madrassa.

It's poetry.

It started with a sonnet by Wordsworth. Now, I guess that logically this oughtn't to have been all that big of a shock: for a long time now I've been receiving spam excerpts from the works of Tom Clancy and Jackie Collins, so I guess Wordsworth fits in that category pretty well. (Little-known fact: Wordsworth wrote a sonnet sequence lauding the many-splendored beauty of the F-117 Nighthawk bomber.) Still, it was actually kind of a lovely surprise. I was doing my routine grumble-grumpy "I know SamOne didn't actually email me and somehow get lost in my spam box but I suppose I'm duty-bound to make sure hrmble mmp frgh" check, and all of a sudden there was this really lovely piece of poetry! Sadly, I don't have it anymore, and I can't remember who sent it to me. I suppose it might have been Tallulah L. Pocketprotractor. Still, it was quite a nice gesture. What a sweet spambot.

Next up was a selection from Tennyson's Idylls of the King. This I regarded with mixed emotions. On the one hand it was very nice of Mr. Snotbasket to make the gesture, but on the other... Idylls of the King, Humphrey? Seriously? I considered sending him an email making a strong case for the replacement of Idylls with a selection from In Memoriam in his next spam round, but eventually decided against it. I thought he might just be interested in me for the size of my penis.

Next I got a funny one: something that looked like Jane Eyre, but... wasn't... quite. It was kind of like Jane Eyre as retold by Mother Goose. I had to Google that one; it turned out to be, in fact, an excerpt from an abridged version of Jane Eyre. Perhaps Tallulah and Humphrey have small children? Still, it made me wrinkle my nose. I was becoming disenchanted with my literary spambots.

But now, suddenly, I am being flooded with -- not just poetry -- but love letters! Like, addressed to me! This latest one, for example, begins, "Ave, gentleman!" Hail, gentleman! Or, perhaps, "By the bird, gentleman!" Sort of a genteel yet emphatic way of cursing, that. So here's the first one from this ardent swain (subject-lined "Privet!" This particular suitor likes hedges, I guess):

My bounty is as boundless as the sea, my love as deep; the more I give to thee the more I have, for both are infinite. I am grateful for all of the beauty I have seen; for the satin petals of every red rose and for the forests green. I am grateful for the beauty of blazing sunsets against the black velvet sky, and for the clouds that gracefully dance by. I am grateful for the beauty of rainbows and grass lush with morning dew, but I know that I will be grateful more than anything for our meeting, my love. Kisses Valery B

Pretty nice, huh? Valery B's got a way with words... or... no, what? Something wasn't parsing. I headed off to Google.

It turns out that Valery B is probably not much of a poet, but she's got one hell of a flair for a mashup. The first line of that, as at least some of you are sure to have recognized, is from Romeo and Juliet. The rest -- which, and I am going to toss my English major cred right the fuck out the window here, I initially regarded as "oh, God, I've always thought Romeo and Juliet was a satire piece that has been misunderstood for decades, but I'd forgotten it was that bad!" -- is a truly soul-stirring piece of contemporary poetry. From a bluemountain.com e-card.

Ah, romance.

On considered reflection I elected not to respond to this particular billet-doux. But Valery B -- although given to assuming a variety of pseudonyms -- is persistent. Several of her missives have regrettably been lost to the ages, but here is my latest favorite:

I want my dark prince. I want my angel. I want my tempter. I want the lighter of my seven lamps of beauty, honour, laughter, music, love, life and immorality… I want my inspiration, my folly, my happiness, my divinity, my madness, my selfishness, my final sanity and sanctification, my purification, my light across the sea, my palm across the desert, my garden of lovely flowers, my million nameless joys, my day’s wage, my night’s dream, my darling and my star...

*Whoa*. Wikipedia tells me that's George Bernard Shaw? Dude. In that case, George Bernard Shaw is hot for me. Holy shit.

What does all of this boil down to? I'm not really sure. One, I guess, is that there are a whole bunch of zombie literary greats who want to get in my pants. Two, I'm learning more quotations from classic literature than I have since I was in college. Three... well. Somebody out there has finally figured out a way to get me to read my spam messages.

I'm waiting to hear from Christina Rossetti.

This is the hour thirteen post of my blogathon for my aunt Tricia, who is dying of end-stage ovarian cancer and whose family is being hit with a whole lot of bills that they can't afford alone as a result. Donations can be made at the link given above. A number of topics are still unclaimed and can be bought for $5 or more.


Posted by: Nathaniel Wolfthorn (ganimede)
Posted at: January 10th, 2010 11:28 am (UTC)

Blimey! *goes off to check my spam messages* Nope, just the size of my peepee, the quality of my watch, and the software on my computer. Damn. I want literary greats e-mailing me lovenotes! Although I did get added on Twitter by Shakespeare the other day. It's not the same though.

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